News (Nov 2017 - Jan 2017)

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Stranded Seal

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A seal pup was spotted on the beach below the Lookout and appeared to be in trouble. The duty Watchkeepers reported this and a member of the British Divers Marine Life Rescue) arrived to assess the situation.

The pup had sought shelter against the sea wall but with a rapidly rising tide and large waves crashing on the beach it was not in a good position. The rescuer called for a colleague to bring a cage to remove the pup but whilst waiting a member of the public brought a dumpy bag and with help captured the seal and carried it off the beach.

The cage later arrived and the seal was transferred to it. It was taken by car to the RSPCA Wildlife Hospital, West Hatch, Taunton.

Declared Facility Status Assessment

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Sunday October 1st was a very successful day at Teignmouth NCI having been assessed for and retained our DFS with some positive comments from the assessor.

The DFS (Declared Facility Status) is required by HM Coastguard for an NCI Station to be fully integrated with the UK Search and Rescue (SAR) organisation.

A rescue exercise was conducted for the assessment in which Teignmouth Lifeboat participated. The sea conditions for this were 'choppy' to say the least.

The Lifeboat dropped a 'Dead Fred' mannequin on four occasions, approximately 0.75 miles off shore. The Lifeboat having moved away, NCI Watchkeepers were required to SPOT the 'casualty', PLOT its position and then guide the Lifeboat by radio to recover the 'casualty'.

Spotting the 'casualty' and then maintaining it in sight in the prevailing sea conditions helped by the elevated position of our Lookout demonstrates how valuable the NCI can be in this type of rescue.

A massive thank you to Teignmouth Lifeboat for its support and contributions.

All in all an excellent day - well done Teignmouth NCI.

Search and Rescue Exercise

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On the evening of Thursday 28th September we ran a Search and Rescue Exercise using VHF Channel 65. Five watchkeepers from Teignmouth NCI worked with TS Canonteign who with their RIB, dropped a man-overboard-mannikin on 5 occasions, 1.5 miles offshore. They were then guided by radio instructions from NCI onto the casualty for retrieval.

Two Sea Cadets were hosted in the NCI Lookout and observed the 5 separate procedures.

This proved a very useful exercise for both parties.

Grateful thanks to TS Canonteign for their involvement.

Battle of Britain Commemoration

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Members of Teignmouth NCI attended the Wreath Laying Ceremony for the Battle of Britain Commemoration at the War Memorial, Teignmouth, organised by Mick Flory of RAFA.

The ceremony was attended by the Mayor, our MP, local dignatories, cadets from the Royal Air Force and TS Canonteign.

Mayoral Visit

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Following a meeting with a Watchkeeper at the Teignmouth Council BBQ, the mayor expressed an interest in visiting the Lookout.

He was invited and accepted an invitation to a Saturday 'D' Watch that was one of those wet and windy evenings.

He came back with mayoress Nikki on 31 August, a much better evening, when they were introduced to our kit and generally appreciated our facility.

Picture shows Paul & Nikki with Teignmouth NCI Station Manager Eddy Stephenson.

Visit to HM Coastguard National Maritime Operations Centre - Fareham

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Tuesday 28 March saw eighteen Teignmouth members set off in a variety of vehicles for a visit to the National Maritime Operations Centre (NMOC) at Fareham.

Since the reorganisation of HM Coastguard in November 2015 NMOC has been Teignmouth's point of contact with HMCG following the closure of Brixham.

It was a fascinating experience, we were initially given a broad outline of the current functionality of the facility and then taken into the Operations Room to spend some quality time with the folk at the sharp end of things. First impressions on entry were of a massive wall screen that indicated the current status of Search & Rescue activity around the UK. The front desk was occupied by The Commander in overall charge surrounded by numerous “pods” of screens with operations staff watching and working at computer terminals.

Beached Cetacean

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Our watchkeepers contacted the authorities when the body of this cetacean was discovered on the beach at Eastcliff, just below the yacht club on Saturday morning.

All beached mammals are the property of the Crown and after consultation between the Coastguard and representatives of Teignbridge Council the body was removed for further investigation. The exact type of mammal is not confirmed but it may have been a young Harbour Porpoise. There was a quantity of rope and a marker buoy nearby and it is possible that the poor creature became entangled.

Border Force

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It is comforting to see that the Border Force are keeping their 'eyes along the coast' too.

John Silverman, a regular Teignmouth Post columnist, came into the Lookout to take this photograph of HMC Seeker, the Border Force Cutter.

One of the duty watchkeepers managed to take the photograph below through one of our scopes with his mobile!

border force

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